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Leo returns to fair as interim CEO

Ticket prices to rise in 2010

POSTED November 17, 2009 11:26 p.m.
The Stanislaus County Fair (38th Agricultural Association) Board of Directors made several decisions on Monday that will affect the 2010 County Fair. Agenda items included the future hiring of a new CEO, an increase in gate ticket costs, and rearranging the dates for some FFA and 4-H events at the fair.
The board of directors said they hope to hire a new chief executive officer by Feb. 26, 2010. The three month hiring process will start later this week when the fair board releases the CEO application on their Web site.
Anthony Leo, CEO of 29 consecutive county fairs, announced his retirement on Oct. 19 in a closed fair board session. His retirement will be effective as of Dec. 30. However, the board voted on Monday to hire Leo as interim CEO effective Jan. 1. He will work “as needed” for up to 40 hours a week and will receive $47.52 per hour of work. This hourly wage is in keeping with a Stanislaus County Fair CEO yearly salary, which ranges between $83,064 and $98,844.
Applications for the CEO position will be posted at www.Stancofair.com under the “employment” section later this week, and there will be a two month application period.
The board also voted to submit a budget to the state that included a $1 increase in the cost of fair tickets purchased at the gate during the fair. The actual fee increase vote was tabled until the boards’ December meeting, where the board could decide to increase the gate fee by as much as $2.
The change in fair dates also affected the schedule for FFA and 4H events at the fair. On Nov. 4, Director Jane Conover met with area 4-H and FFA representatives to discuss their events schedule for the 2010 fair. They agreed that in order to keep the time down on Saturday’s events, they will be breaking up the animal auction. Market steer will be auctioned off on Thursday, and smaller animals will be auctioned on Friday night of the last week of the fair. All other large animals, including replacement heifers, goats, and swine will be auctioned on Saturday.
At the December meeting the board will also discuss the continuation of the Park n’ Ride program, which brought nearly 10,000 visitors to the 2009 Stanislaus County Fair in free shuttle buses. The discussion will include the possibility of extending free shuttle hours to 12 midnight. Mike Bradford with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, was in favor of extending the shuttle hours.
“We got nothing but positive comments about (the shuttle service),” Bradford said.
Sheriff Adam Christianson made an After Action Report on the crime rates at the 2009 Stanislaus County Fair. Arrests at the fair were down from 23 in 2008 to 10 in 2009, he reported. Christianson said that sometimes instead of arresting someone they will escort them out of the fair. Escorts were down from 234 in 2008 to 108 in 2009. Christianson said that this might be due in part to the beer booths at the fair closing an hour earlier than in previous years.

Fair board vetoes 4th of July fun
Also at Monday’s meeting, the fair board unanimously voted not to hold a fourth of July fireworks show at the Stanislaus County fair grounds in 2010. Board members agreed that the event would be too close to the July 16 start date of the 2010 fair. They said that there would not be enough time to clean up after the fireworks show and set up for the fair.
“It’s too close to the fair,” said director Mark Timmerman, chair of the operations committee.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.
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